View as a webpage Subscribe Manage my subscriptions Unsubscribe from this newsletter
Image
December 2020   
The purpose of this scams bulletin is to enable Hampshire residents to be aware, and therefore guard against the type of scams currently being reported to Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service.
Cold Calling - Home Insulation Surveys/Spray Foam Insulation

A phone call from a person purporting to be carrying out home insulation surveys in the area. There may be reference to a Government / Local Authority Scheme and the caller may indicate their residents’ current insulation is insufficient to meet Government standards. The caller will try to convince the resident that they need spray foam insulation and will attempt to arrange a visit, often for the following day.  Any work agreed to tends to start shortly afterwards.

A phone call from a person purporting to be carrying out home insulation surveys in the area. There may be reference to a Government or Local Authority Scheme and the caller may indicate their residents’ current insulation is insufficient to meet Government standards. The caller will try to convince the resident that they need spray foam insulation and will attempt to arrange a visit, often for the following day.  Any work agreed to tends to start shortly afterwards.

The National Insulation Association (NIA) represents the insulation industry in the United Kingdom and has a code of professional practice that all members agree to follow.  It is recommended that if considering any form of insulation, you consult their website and always use an approved NIA installer or by calling 08451 636363.  For further information on energy savings you can contact the Energy Savings Trust or on 0300 123 1234. 

   Social media - Facebook/Messenger Fraud

Social Media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but it is also very easy for criminals to exploit people. Trading Standards have received several reports of residents losing money to scams when they thought they were helping friends.

Example 1: Mrs G had a message from a person she knew, but had not had a lot of contact with.  The friend said there were problems with their online banking, and urgently need to pay some bills that day. Mrs G paid several bills totalling £1,200 by direct transfer to her friend’s alleged other bank account on the promise that she would be refunded the next day. That promise never came true, and further checks revealed that her friend’s account had been hacked and the money had been transferred to fraudsters.

Example 2: Mr C received a message via Facebook Messenger from a 'friend’ who said they had won a prize. After a few conversations on messenger, the conversations then moved to WhatsApp. The resident was persuaded to pay £275 in Argos vouchers as a security fee before their winnings would be sent. A further security fee of £500 was also requested. At this point the resident got suspicious and ended contact.  The resident later found their friend’s account had been hacked and they had been conversing with fraudsters.

Always treat unusual contact or conversations from existing friends with caution.  Never accept a friend request from a person who is already a friend without checking with them first.

   Green Homes Grant

Not a scam, but Trading Standards are concerned that this scheme may be abused by unscrupulous traders who may use the scheme’s details to exploit residents, perhaps by offering money off guarantees courtesy of the Government, as a way of touting for work.

 

This grant is a government backed initiative in the form of a voucher to get homeowners to invest money in improving the energy-efficiency of their property and to give the economy a boost. Types of improvement that qualify for the grant are split into primary and secondary measures. The voucher must be used to install at least one primary measure which can be insulation and/or low carbon heating. After at least one primary measure has been installed, the voucher can be used to help cover the cost of a list of secondary measures which contains things like double or triple glazing, draught-proofing and energy-efficient doors.

 

Only verified and approved traders can carry out the work. There are steps that have to be followed to gain access to the Government grant and Trading Standards urge consumers to say no to cold callers or offers posted through the letterbox.

You can check if you are eligible to access the grant by visiting green homes grant.

Alternatively you can read all the details about the grant scheme at green homes grant.

   Scamnesty 2020 - Scam Mail Amnesty

Throughout December 2020, the Friends Against Scams Team are running a Scamnesty campaign aiming to encourage residents to send in any unwanted scam mail to the National Trading Standards Scams Team completely free of charge. 

For further details go to Friends Against Scams.

In line with Government guidance, the National Trading Standards Scam Team ask that you do not make a trip outside just to post the mail but please include it in any daily exercise, or simply wait until Government restrictions have been eased. Send mail (no need for a stamp) to: NTSST, FREEPOST, MAIL MARSHALS

Remember to Take Five to protect yourself from Fraud and Scams:

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your money or personal details
  • Never disclose security details
  • Stay in control
  • Don't be rushed


Image

If you are worried about a potential scam please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133
Web site: Online consumer complaint form
Image www.hants.gov.uk/tradingstandards
Image   Image  Image  Image  Image

This email was sent by Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester SO23 8UJ
Privacy | Disclaimer
© Hampshire County Council 2019